Do you hold yourself accountable? - [website] Email Print
Published: 14th of Mar 2017 by: Carolyn Kessler

We have all worked with people who continually deflect responsibility or never admit to a mistake.

In fact, most of us have been this type of person at one time – I know I have!

If you are disengaged – merely a spectator - you’re choosing an incredibly powerless position. You see, the less responsibility you assume, the more you refuse to learn from your mistakes, the more you remain a passive member of your team, cheerfully handing over your power to those around you.

I understand that not all workplaces approach employee errors in a solutions-based fashion. Often, it is with a view to humiliating the person into never making another mistake! This is a dreadful approach and I recommend highly that you do not adopt it personally - irrespective that it appears to be the prevailing management style in the company!

Understand that there are many benefits you can derive from making a mistake, if you’re secure enough to see this as an opportunity – let’s list a few of them:

1) It shows you where your knowledge or skills are lacking – this knowledge is extremely valuable because it focusses your attention on the areas in which you require more training or upskilling.

2) It could be as a result of a system which needs overhauling or tweaking. Either way, you now know there’s a problem and can fix it.

3) You learn to deal constructively with issues which you would normally sweep under the carpet. This is an invaluable skill which many people never learn.

4) If you don’t feel able to ask colleagues or bosses for help in rectifying the error, there’s most likely a problem in how this is handled within your team – yet again, it is highlighting areas to which attention needs to be paid.

5) If you can learn to forgive yourself for not being perfect, you learn to forgive others their imperfections and you both learn a great deal in the process.

6) Rectifying the error and moving on teaches you to take things in your stride rather than collapsing in a heap.

7) Holding yourself accountable means that those around you are more likely to feel sufficiently safe to hold themselves accountable. Your attitude can help rid a team of the highly destructive ‘blaming and shaming’ mode of operation. In fact your mistake could be responsible for shining a light on this shadowy dynamic – now you know it’s there, change it!

8) If you are making an inordinate amount of mistakes, it could be that you’re too stressed and simply not coping with your work. Once again, you are being forewarned and can take action.

9) Maybe, just maybe, you are bored and lack motivation and/or commitment. Find out and take action!

10) Always believe that you, along with virtually all of your colleagues, go to work each day wanting to do your best. If you mess up – that’s all it is. A hiccup which can be addressed in a manner which promotes a healthy and emotionally safe work environment.

Staff Training is a national soft skills training company, contact us at 0861 996 660 for more info or drop us an email.

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